Book Review: Life Was Like That Only by Prabeen Singh

By Srija Naskar

In her book of memoirs, Life Was Like That Only, Delhi-based author Prabeen Singh gives a heady account of an eventful life as lived by someone who is part of the earliest generations of a newly independent India.

Born in Jamshedpur, Singh recalls how the city benefited from the social largesse of the Tatas: recalls Beldih club’s swimming sessions; weekend movies at the Golmuri club; how, while growing up she was influenced a lot by the songs of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and so forth. She recalls being brought up in a Sikh family where tradition existed in accomodation with liberal ideas.

Singh writes of a father who began giving lessons on alternative history after having learnt how teachers at school were likening Aurangzeb to the evil, intolerant Mughal ruler who had killed Teg Bahadur. She writes of her grandfather who had built the Sikh National College in Lahore and was its principal till Pakistan became a reality (the college was built to eradicate the spectre of communal divide and inculcate a sense of national pride for an independent, undivided India as it was also the first college in India to fly the
tiranga). Read more

Source: Sunday Guardian Live